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Cop mom to pray for death

Constable Ujjwal Burman was 22 when he was killed in the line of duty during the 2002 terror attack on the American Center, Calcutta.

At a modest home in Ujani, 15km from Raiganj in North Dinajpur, mother Amita clutched his photograph on Wednesday and said she would request the President and the Supreme Court to reconsider the order to commute the death sentence of the two convicts to life imprisonment. “My younger son had told me that the case would be heard in the Supreme Court today. I was praying since morning that no mother should suffer my fate. I prayed for the death of his killers. My husband was trying to catch the news on TV since morning. He has been very upset since hearing the verdict.”

“I had hoped that the death sentence would be upheld by the Supreme Court. After all, the accused were enemies of our nation. If they escape the ultimate punishment, whom will ordinary people like us rely on for justice? My younger son is also a policeman. I lost one of my sons in the line of duty but his killers will escape the death penalty. I don’t want to lose another son. I will write to the President and the Supreme Court to reconsider the decision,” she said.

Ranjita Burman, Amita’s married daughter who lives in the same village, rushed to her after news channels broadcast the apex court verdict. “I was watching TV to hear the verdict. I ran to be by my parents’ side when I saw the news. I am sad that his killers will remain alive,” she said.

Brother Pankaj, a constable attached to the office of the additional police superintendent in Raiganj, said he vividly remembered the night before January 22, 2002.

“We met the night before he was gunned down. He had asked me to meet for breakfast after duty the next day. The day never came and now the verdict has dashed our hopes of justice for him.”